School dropout can be defined simply as any person who fails to earn a high school diploma. In practice, however, it can be a challenge to identify with precision students who will drop out. Dropouts have relatively high rates of mobility, and school transfers can make graduation a difficult achievement to track. Additionally, studies on school dropout often begin with high school students, but dropout occurs in the middle grades too. Finally, some students stop out of school and then return or subsequently enroll in equivalency credential programs (e.g., earn a General Education Development certificate). This entry summarizes key points in understanding the prevalence, antecedents, and consequences of school dropout and efforts to prevent its occurrence.

Event and status dropout are common ways to define ...

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